Archive for the ‘Jazzfest’ Tag

The High Breaks on Church St as part of Jazzfest June 12, 2016   Leave a comment

The High Breaks on Church St June 12, 2016 pic by Tim Lewis 1

The High Breaks on Church St June 12, 2016 pic by Tim Lewis 1

 

I had a great time seeing music yesterday. It was a cool day with on and off rain but as the 2:30pm start time approached, it looked pretty clear. I caught a ride downtown with Christopher Larrow and we parked then walked down a lightly busy Church St. A jazz band was playing in the tent in front of Leunig’s and their music filled the air. It was nice to listen to, but as we passed and continued down the street, some rocking drums took over. We arrived at the stage in front of city hall and The High Breaks were playing hard. They are a trio with guitar, bass, and drums. They play instrumental surf rock songs and they do it very well. It was just after start time when we arrived so I think we walked in on the first song but it’s hard to be certain. I found a place to stand that was nicely out of the way and got into the groove as the Breaks plowed into their set. While they don’t have any lyrics, in between songs Matthew Bryan Hagen tells stories that introduce the songs, so as you listen you can follow the tale and use the instrumentals to let your mind wander and flesh it out any way you choose. It’s also fun to listen to Matt’s introductions and to try and figure out the title of the next tune will be. The first song I saw was Droppin’ In. From there the story came to life as we found ourselves out on a choppy sea so they played Sea Chopper. We then moved toward the land so they played The Coast. Matt had a great riff on this one and it was especially fun to watch and listen to him play his guitar. Kevin Lynam also had some killer bass runs on the song. He was great all afternoon long but his work on Coast really stood out. Up next we approached the coast until we found The Sandy Shore. On the shore was a boardwalk so they rocked out a fun version of Boardwalk Boogie. Of course, you have to be safe on the boardwalk so they encouraged us to Walk Don’t Run. We then moved from the boardwalk and took A Walk On Ballard Beach. Sometimes when you walk down the beach you might happen to fall. The next song was about the moment that you fall and hit the sand and some of the sand flies up. The song was called Sandblaster. Sometimes when you fall you might hurt yourself so they followed with Ankle Breaker. Even when something like that happens you mend eventually and get back in the saddle. Saddle Back followed. Of course, in these modern times we have traded in horses for cars. Sometimes they are old cars with wood paneling. The next song was called Woody. When you are driving around you can get air moving all around and it brings many scents. Coconut Breeze followed. At that point the story stopped and the light and steady rain from the beginning of the show had pretty much stopped as well. They pulled out a couple of covers to honor those who created the surf rock genre. Apache was great but the mix of the Pyramids song Penetration with a bit of Black Sabbath’s Sweat Leaf was just wonderful. They call that one Sweet Penetration. The story continued with our hero swapping out the car for a bike with a special seat. Banana Seat was really fun. Up next was the one we had been waiting for all afternoon, whether we knew it or not. The Big One rocked hard and sounded huge. A song called Rumble followed. It had some cool breezy meanderings with some breathtaking rock parts. From there we went back into the sea to catch a wave for the Surf Showdown. After such an event you need some food so Hot Dog was next. It looked like they were going to end the afternoon with Shifty but on the last note drummer Todd Gevry yelled out Wipeout and they rocked the song hard. Todd is a great drummer and was outstanding all afternoon but he really took center stage on that one.

It was so much fun to check out a whole show by the Breaks even if it was so damp and chilly. They are so incredibly talented it’s just a joy to hear them play. We headed out shortly after the show was done and it was nice to get home and warm but it was worth every drop of rain see The High Breaks.

 

 

The High Breaks on Church St June 12, 2016 pic by Tim Lewis 2

The High Breaks on Church St June 12, 2016 pic by Tim Lewis 2

Advertisements

Madaila on Church St and Art Herttua at Radio Bean June 10, 2016   Leave a comment

Madaila on Church St June 10 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

Madaila on Church St June 10 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

I had a good time seeing a little music yesterday. I had been meaning to check out Madaila, since everyone says they are so good. With the afternoon off, and them playing to top block on Church St, it seemed easy enough.

I got going a little slow and arrived around 5:15. The band were on stage and jamming. They sounded super tight and the vocals of guitarist Mark Daly and bassist Jer Coons were quite impressive. Eric B. Maier’s keys lay a sheen of ’80’s synth over the sound and Dan Ryan’s drumming was rock solid. Willoughby Morse added a few sweet lead guitar breaks. Normally, this would be enough to pull me to the front of the stage, but the song they were playing when I arrived was Disco Inferno, so I just hung out and listened. The next song was much cooler and had a nice airy feel to it. It turned out to be one of their own songs called Trying To Be Heard. It didn’t light me up, but got me moving a bit. Up next they lit into a solid What’s Love Got To Do With It. They played it extremely well, and gave it a bit of a long jammed out ending. After that, they said they would take a break and had two more sets after that.

I decided I’d head over to Radio Bean to catch some jazz, since I assumed they would have someone pretty amazing. Art Herttua started playing so quietly that I was not sure if the first part was a soundcheck or the beginning. He played a gentle electric guitar and was joined by a drummer, whose name I missed. The music was very peaceful yet had a nice structure to the songs. I did not know any of them, but Art said a couple were Coltrane songs. The drummer used brushes on the snare and sneaked in a kick drum beat here and there. It was move like he used the brushes to paint the notes instead of playing the drums. Art’s guitar playing was similar in that it sounded like he would paint the air with a note, then continue on until the composition was complete. With sunlight streaming in the window the pacific complexity of the songs just flowed with the passing time. The quiet crowd came and went with a couple of us focusing on the sound and most letting the sound surround them. I hung out until my drink was done and knew it was time to wander on.

I briefly though about heading back to Church St, but the idea of more disco did not enthrall me, so I wandered home. Neither of the bands I saw lit me up musically, and both were quite a ways out of my comfort zone, but I find it important to listen to different music now and then because that it is the best way to find new music that will get me going, Also, it’s great to share in the staggering talent that gets played in our town. I always appreciate the effort it takes to get on the stage and sometimes love the playing, even if I don’t love the song.

Art Herttua at Radio Bean June 10, 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

Art Herttua at Radio Bean June 10, 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

 

Note from  Art Herttua · Thanks so much Tim, a very thoughtful and well written review. The drummer is Ray Carroll.

 

Made By Robots at Radio Bean June 8, 2016   Leave a comment

Radio Bean picture by Tim Lewis

Radio Bean picture by Tim Lewis

I finally caught a little bit of jazz music yesterday. I’ve had to prerecord my local music radio show on WBKM lately to get the net feed and the 107.1FM feed synced up, so just before three I took a lovely walk downtown. I listed slightly to a couple of the high school jazz bands that were staged around Church st, but was mostly focused on walking forward to my goal. Still, it was a lovely ambiance. I was almost to the last block when a camera crew asked if I was a Bernie Sanders supporter and if they could interview me. I took the couple of minutes and tried to be very positive about the Presidential contender. I realized at the end of the interview that they were from Fox News, something like Water’s World, so who knows how it will be edited. Still, I got a chance to map out a general arc showing how Democratic economic practices are so much better than Republican ones. That said, it was probably a dumb thing to do.

Shortly after the interview I arrived at the station and set up tonight’s show. Hint: it begins with some Bernie and may have some jazz in it. When it was done, I walked back up Church st and noticed that the bands that were playing were a bit more tight. I enjoyed the ambiance and walked a bit more casually, since I had a bit of free time before meeting up with friends. I took a swing into Radio Bean, since I assumed there would be some high quality jazz plating and was proved correct. Made by Robots had a smooth easy flowing sound that meandered around and had a strong flowing flute riding on top. They are a five-piece band with guitar, bass, drums, flute and keys and everything I heard was instrumental. The music had a nice strength to it and I found myself fairly enchanted. I hung out for a drink’s worth of music and especially enjoyed the last song which rocked hard at the end. I definitely need to check them out again.

The walk home was a tiny bit chilly, and I was wondering what the heck I did with the street interview, but was happy that my show was all set and I got to hear some beautiful music.

http://madebyrobotsmusic.com/

 

Aaron Flinn at Radio Bean June 2 and The High Breaks at Jazzfest on the top of Church St June 10, 2015   1 comment

Radio Bean picture by Tim Lewis

Radio Bean picture by Tim Lewis

 

I’ve been slacking about writing about shows that I’ve seen lately and wanted to write about a couple of them. On June 2nd I had the day off as my floating holiday for working Memorial Day. Aaron Flinn was set to play at Radio Bean opening for Honky Tonk Tuesday. I took the quick walk over around quarter of 9 and arrived as he was setting up with a bass player. I’ve mostly seen Aaron play acoustic lately, but that night he brought the electric and he and Tom Carvey played a pretty intense set. Aaron is a killer guitar player and did a lot one hand soloing, and just generally threw his hands towards the strings and made the sounds he wanted emerge from them. Tom was pretty amazing too and was able to bend a few notes just by his handling of the bass guitar. It was quite the sight to absorb. Of course, with a killer guitarist and bass player, I was kind of wanting a drummer to push things over the top, but thoroughly enjoyed the show nonetheless. After the show I said a quick goodbye and Aaron mentioned they would be playing with a drummer soon. I can’t wait.

The next week was Jazzfest and very rainy and I did not make it out to much. I have Wednesday’s off so when I saw The High Breaks were playing on the stage at the top of Church St as part of the event, I had to go. I walked around a bit and heard a bit of jazz at various places on Church st, but nothing that caught me. I stopped in at the OP for a drink and headed back to the show and the band were on. With slick grey suits, dark sunglasses and a mellow but fun attitude they alternated surf rock songs with Matt Matthew Bryan Hagen droll and funny comments. He introduced most of the songs with a fun story and the trio played like crazy. Kevin Lynam‘s bass was rock solid and Todd Gevry‘s drumming was quick and powerful. Matt’s guitar lead the set through a mix of originals and classic covers and it was quite fun. The weather was threatening but there was only a misty rain now and then. They played a killer first set, and fun as it was, I was a bit damp and tired and skipped out on the second one. It was a cool time and I’m glad I put in the effort.

 

Swale in a Parking Lot 180 Flynn Ave, and Gordon Stone Band at Halverson’s June 1, 2013   Leave a comment

I worked until 5:30 yesterday and caught a ride home. Christopher Larrow said he was coming into town, so we were going to go catch some jazz. I checked in with FB and noticed that the Pop Up party had moved from Essex to Flynn Ave, in Burlington. Swale were set to go on at 7. Chris was up for it and I called Nathan Curtis. He was up for it too, so off we went. We got there just after 7. They were set up in the far corner of a parking lot, by the tracks, and were just about to start, when we walked up. They played a nice mix of songs including a Pavement cover and nice readings of Soul Piggy Bank and Middlesex.

When they finished, off we went. Nate had other plans, but he dropped Chris and I downtown. We went over to Halverson’s and met up with Rich Haskell and friends. We watched the Gordon Stone band for a set and a half. It has been ages since I’ve seen them play, and they are as rock solid as ever. The music was more jazzy than Swale, but kind of ordered, free-form blues, or something.

The walk home was a bit damp, but not too bad. All in all, it was a pretty nice night, though not as jazzy as I expected. Oh well, there’s still another week for jazz. Hmmm, are Blue Button playing Wednesday night?

Posted June 2, 2013 by tmusicfan in Rock Shows

Tagged with , , , , , ,